San Francisco Votes To Allow Police To Deploy Deadly Robots To Combat Crime

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Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to approve a policy that’d allow police to deploy robots capable of using lethal force against criminal suspects.

If enacted, the legislation would give officers the option to use remote-controlled robots for deadly force “when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available,” says the draft.

Still, two steps remain before killer robots enter the streets of San Francisco. A second vote will take place next week, and the measure requires the approval of the city mayor.

“A police officer operates one of his department’s bomb-disposal robots in Garland, Tex., in 2018,” via Washington Post.

The first vote concluded with a two-hour discussion that prompted two amendments.

The first of which clarified that police must try or consider alternative force methods before using robots for lethal force. In essence, officers have to consider other measures before deploying a robot to kill someone in cold blood. Sounds reasonable to us.

Second, only the police chief, assistant chief of operations, or deputy chief of special operations can authorize the use of deadly bots. Thereby the overwhelmed traffic cop cannot combat speeders with lethal robots.

To start, the SFPD would have access to seven robots “designed to neutralize dispose of bombs, and provide video reconnaissance for operators.”

While the SFPD will not arm the robots with firearms, City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman says the department could deploy robots equipped with explosive charges “to contact, incapacitate, or disorient violent, armed, or dangerous suspect.

“There could be an extraordinary circumstance where, in a virtually unimaginable emergency, they might want to deploy lethal force to render, in some horrific situation, somebody from being able to cause further harm,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said at the board meeting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last month, Axios profiled a host of startup fast-food joints turning to robots to make pizza in an effort to offset the shortage of workers and rising minimum wage laws. Yet in less than a few weeks, pizza-making robots escalated into killer robots that fight crime.

Talk about progress.

The first known example of U.S. law enforcement turning to lethal robots came in 2016 when Dallas police killed an armed suspect accused of fatally shooting five police officers by detonating an explosive device via a bomb squad robot.

At least they are testing killer robots out in San Francisco and not the heart of America.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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